Monday, July 17, 2017

How Does This Happen?

When I see articles like this from respected travel bloggers, I really get a icky feeling. The first thought that comes to mind is "sellout," followed by "misleading." I understand that these sites and bloggers need to make money (why do you think I have ads turned on for this blog?), but so much of this article is full of just blatant misleading advertising that it leaves me scratching my head.

If you are an experienced traveler, you should know the pitfalls of days travel, and not be recommending things that will not only not help, but could actually make the travel experience worse. It's bad enough we have to contend with the airlines. Why would you want travelers to waste their hard-earned money on toys that are unnecessary?

I want to run through the list real quick to provide clarity based on my own personal travel experiences.

Charging Case

I completely agree. You have to have power available to you, but there are a lot of options out there. I prefer the largest power battery pack I can find that isn't too large or heavy. Honestly anything touting recharging more than three times, isn't worth it because it is very rare to have a situation where you are going to burn through that much power without being able to use an outlet along the way.

Laptop Charger

An extra battery is all you should consider. Laptop charging packs tend to be MASSIVE, and I would hate to travel with something that weighs just shy of a tank. An extra battery is bad enough.

Mobile Scanner

Use the camera on your phone. I've never ever found a need, or wished I had a mobile scanner. If you get the ExpenseIt app, that will automatically move receipts into Concur, and fill in all the expense details via your phone's camera. There are also apps that you can use for document scanning, business card scanning, and even language translation--all done with the camera you already have.

USB Ink Pen

Are you kidding me? Seriously? I need a pen maybe once a week, if that, and something like this is just an unnecessary expense. Get a decent sized USB drive, which the pen won't be, and toss it in your bag. If you need an occasional pen, toss one in your bag, but most people have a pen in their office when you really need one. Most of your work can be done on your laptop or tablet.

Smart Luggage

I just posted about this the other day--NO! It's a complete waste of money. I just purchased and received a TravelPro bag that has a nice pocket on the side for a battery pack to be dropped in to, and a port on the back to plug a device into. That's the furthest I would go with luggage. Anything else is a waste of money, and will definitely inconvenience you when you try to get through TSA.

Micro Projector

I have yet to see a micro/mini projector that can project a satisfactory professional level image. It might be useful in a pinch, but you're much better off using the proper tool. I make sure all my customers are aware of my requirements before I arrive and never have a problem providing a projector or monitor. What I would suggest is a multi-video adapter that has all the possible connections on it.

Mobile Hotspot

I agree with this section. I've saved my sanity many times by having a Mi-Fi available.


This seriously doesn't belong in this article. You either have a watch or you don't. I wear a FitBit Surge to track steps and because we have competitions at work, but it isn't even close to being essential for travel.

Noise-canceling Earbuds

I agree with this one as well. Fantastic for planes.

Perhaps somewhere along the line, if people are interested, I'll do a post of what I carry. Let me know in the comments if that is something you would be interested in seeing.